People turn away from discussions concerning Europe. Islam on the contrary, represents a red fiery zone for European publics, provokes controversies and scandals, mobilizes collective passions, and gives voice and visibility to those who enter in that zone.
A government-initiated referendum on European Union migrant quotas will be held in Hungary on October 2, 2016. It is a part of the Hungarian government’s campaign to use the refugee and migrant crisis (and the dissatisfaction of citizens with the EU) to gain back voter support – and it works very well.
A morning of June 24 was like no other. Some people were woken up in the early hours by a piercing sound of their mobile phones, when their friends wanted to reach them. Others anxiously climbed out of their beds. Most of them immediately switched on BBC news on their tellies only to find out that their worst fears came true – the majority of British citizens voted ‘leave’ in the EU referendum.
Brexit can start a crisis the likes of which the EU didn’t get the chance to experience so far. For the first time, the process of economic integration, which went on continuously since the year 1951 when the European Coal and Steel Community was established, will stop. The result of the Brexit referendum sends a clear message that the EU has to start solving its problems, otherwise there may be other referendums in the future.
We have the pleasure to present you the fourth issue of the 4liberty.eu Review. This time, we have decided to devote our magazine to the key issues many European societies face: populism, radicalisms and migration. For the first time you may not only read the issue online but also download it directly in Full Version and as Separate Articles.
Ne te quaesiveris extra, the golden rule of Ralph Waldo Emerson, seems to have recently backfired. Central Estern European authorities have internalised it to such an extent that they rarely listen to any arguments coming from others. This tendcency to “trust thyself” plays well into the hands of populists who have no problem with exploiting it to the fullest.
A populist in a democracy has to attract support first by continuously emphasizing threats, such as terrorism – and offering himself as an effective strongman. An authoritarian leader can enforce this sentiment from above, only using threats as a justification (or even posing a threat himself).
What if I told you that the poorest EU member state is a country in which economic populism is more often the rule of a thumb, rather than an exception? Would that surprise you, or would you think it is a fate just deserved by both the Bulgarian public and its government?
Protagonists of the free market have been therefore put into a somewhat defensive position and in the public debate we have been increasingly facing populist arguments for less competition and more state intervention. However, the battle will certainly not be won by simply denying the shift of paradigms.
The primary goal of populist politicians is to capture (or rather to “buy”) political support, win elections or keep political power. Therefore, they do not use tools necessary to bring long-term prosperity to the people but rather take advantage of whatever can guarantee them short-term political gains.